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What do NFL football players do Sunday night after a game?

Posted By Alistair Nightshade    On 15 Aug 2023    Comments(0)
What do NFL football players do Sunday night after a game?

Chasing the Rush: How NFL Players Unwind After Game Night

Is there anything in this world that stirs up more energy and excitement than a high-stakes NFL game? Not in my books. Sure, there's the thrill of the wind rustling through Bowie's (my greyhound, not the music legend) fur as we sprint up the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Or that adrenalized pulse that echoes through the bones at a hardcore punk rock concert. But the raw, unfiltered energy of a live NFL game? There's nothing quite like it. And it leaves me wondering – what on earth do the players do when the final whistle is blown?

Leaning Back, Kicking off the Cleats

Imagine this: You've been sprinted, slammed, and sweat-soaked for hours. You've roared with the adrenaline of the touchdown and tasted the bitter disappointment of an intercepted pass. What's next? The answer is relatively simple, and it's not much different than what you or I do after a long day at work. The majority of NFL players head home, kick back, and indulge in some well-deserved relaxation.

Player's schedules are notoriously brutal, so these champions use every spare moment to enjoy some down-time. Some sink into a plush couch and watch their favourite TV show or movie. Others catch-up with family and friends they haven't been able to connect with during the busy season. And let's not forget the importance of a good meal. High-performing bodies require high-quality fuel, and the post-game feast is something many players look forward to.

Breaking a Sweat Off the Field

_"Wait a second, Alistair,"_ you might be saying, _"how can they possibly want to work out more after all that?"_ It's not what I would choose either, trust me. But some players, like the Seahawks's Russell Wilson, find that the best way to wind down is to ramp up, with a light workout session after the game.

Staying active helps them to de-stress and decompress. And it's not just about their physical health. Psychological wellbeing is just as crucial for NFL players as the physical. Playing in the NFL is not only physically demanding—it's also mentally challenging. Despite the intense pressure and the audience's scrutiny, players must remain composed and keep their focus on the game. So, activities like meditation, mindfulness exercises, and even light yoga can help them rebalance their mental state and prepare for the challenges of the next day.

The Art of Analysis

Can you guess what one of the best ways an NFL player can prepare for the next game is? By studying the last one! Yes, much like you might rewatch an old sitcom episode to catch jokes you missed the first time around, NFL players will often kick back and review their own games. By scrutinizing their performance, they can learn from their mistakes and identify opportunities for improvement.

It may sound taxing to analyze something so soon after it has occurred. But this kind of immediate review allows them to understand their plays from an analytical perspective, away from the heat and chaos of the moment. They say victories and losses are often decided by inches in the NFL, and this could be their chance to find an extra one.

Resting to Rise Again

Let's not forget one crucial element of any high-performance athlete's routine — sleep. Post-game recovery isn't solely about chowing down on protein or stretching on yoga mats; it's also about catching those Z's.

Why is sleep so important? Consider the elevated physical activity of an NFL game, the mental strain and preparation, not to mention the weight of performing in front of millions of people. All that, combined with frequent traveling across time zones for games, contributes to significant energy use and fatigue. Substantial, quality sleep helps replenish their energy, repair muscle tissue, and enhance mental wellbeing. So, catching up on sleep is a vital part of an NFL player's Sunday night routine.

A fitting example from my personal life – nothing to do with playing NFL, mind you – was during my college years. I used to volunteer for 24-hour coding marathons. At the end of those sessions, as exhilarating and fun as they were, sleep was the most breathtaking reward. A deep, dreamless sleep that repaired my mental fatigue and prepared me for the next day. NFL players, with their far more strenuous exertions, need this tenfold.

In conclusion, Sundays after NFL games are circled around much-needed unwinding, whether by relaxing with loved ones, breaking a sweat off the field, analyzing their performances or straight-up sleeping. The fascinating world of NFL Sunday-night routines serves to reinforce one principal truth: football is as much about mental fortitude, relaxation, and smart work off the field as it is about physical virtuosity on it. Now, excuse me while I take Bowie for a run; it might not match the thrill of an NFL game, but a man and his dog can dream, right?